Tis’ the season of plenty at the box office. At least eight major titles will open or expand in the seven days before Christmas, with Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy kicking off the festivities last Wednesday. I’m sure you know by now that Paramount’s sequel is kind of a big deal. So it made sense that Anchorman 2 got the win on Friday, taking in an estimated $8.7 million from 3,507 locations. That puts Ron Burgundy on track for about $29 million for the three-day weekend: on par with the original Anchorman’s $28.4 million launch in July 2004.
But that won’t be enough to knock Bilbo off of his weekend throne. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned an estimated $8.6 million on Friday, and is expected to pull in over $31 million on its sophomore frame. After earning one of the highest per-screen averages of all-time with its limited launch last weekend, American Hustle claimed an estimated $5.1 million after expanding its run to 2,507 venues. Also expanding on Friday after its (slightly less impressive) limited bow last week, Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks brought in almost $3 million on its first day in 2,110 locations – well ahead of the $2.1 million Fox’s Walking With Dinosaurs realized from its first day in 3,231 venues. We’ll have complete details on the weekend box office tomorrow.
|2.||The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug||$8,605,000||$104.6|
|5.||Saving Mr. Banks||$2,963,000||$3.5|